Unusual Ventures, a Menlo Park, California-based venture capital firm that invests in both enterprise and consumer startups, closed its second fund, at $400m.
Backers included existing mission-driven LPs like non-profits, HBCUs, foundations, endowments, and health-related institutions, as well as the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Led by John Vrionis (ex-Lightspeed GP) and Jyoti Bansal (founder of AppDynamics), Unusual aims to redefine seed-stage investing and give entrepreneurs the support they need when they need it most.
The firm, which also hired Andy Johns, former exec at Facebook, Twitter and Quora, as Partner leading the consumer portfolio, also supports portfolio via the Get Ahead Platform, which provides services specifically designed to help determined founders navigate the most critical seed stage challenges: recruiting the first fifteen employees, identifying the optimal initial use case and product, acquiring early customers, and messaging effectively.
In addition, the Unusual Academy provides a hands-on, experiential learning program for entrepreneurs where they leverage experience and relationships with world class Master Practitioners— like Andy Rachleff, Adam Grant, Jyoti Bansal, and Shan-Lyn Ma— to accelerate the learning curve for seed stage leaders.
Finally, the Unusual Interns program seeks to connect underrepresented students with high-growth tech companies in Silicon Valley.
Since launching two years ago, the firm has invested in 15 core portfolio companies as part of Fund 1 who have access to the complete program of Unusual services, and made several smaller investments in founding teams at the pre-seed stage who have taken advantage of Unusual Academy. Traction across investments includes one exit (their first investment, Omnition, was acquired by Splunk) and a Series A (Shujinko started at the Academy as just an idea, and just closed a $7.5M round).